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Business

Japanese fund to buy barbershop operator QB Net with eye abroad

TOKYO -- Japanese investment fund Integral will purchase discount barbershop operator QB Net, aiming to expand the business in Southeast Asia and into the West.

     Integral will likely pay more than 10 billion yen ($86.6 million) in a deal expected to close within the year. QB Net's barbershops offer 10-minute haircuts for 1,000 yen. It boasted 480 locations in Japan and 85 in other parts of Asia, including Singapore and Hong Kong, at the end of June.

     Integral is led by acquisition expert Nobuo Sayama and others. It picked QB Net because Jafco, the venture capital firm that owns nearly 100% of the barbershop operator's shares, has been looking to sell the company.

     Integral will work with management to raise QB Net's corporate value over the long term, with plans to support extending the barbershop chain to such Western markets as London and New York.

     After strengthening QB Net's earning power over a roughly three-year period, Integral will likely take the business public at some point in the future.

(Nikkei)

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